Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2013 Contents A9
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T&T must reaffirm the dreams of independence
with which it began and not allow them to drop
into the forgotten crevices of the imagination.
This was the plea on Monday night by Earl Lovelace,
award-winning Trinidadian novelist, at the national
icons award ceremony at the Hilton Trinidad and
Conference Centre, St Ann s.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who was
scheduled to deliver the feature address, was not
present as she held a press conference in Parliament
at the time the ceremony was taking place.
Lovelace was among 60 "icons" who received an
award for outstanding contribution.
Among those honoured in the category of
politics/philosophy was former prime minister and
president Arthur NR Robinson.
Among those honoured for entrepreneurship were
Anthony Sabga, founder and chairman emeritus of
the ANSA McAL group of companies, businesswoman
Helen Bhagwansingh, fashion designer Meling Esau
and Sidney Knox, founder of the Neal & Massy group.
Others received glowing tribute for their contri-
bution in the fields of science, architecture, community
service and public service.
Posthumous awards were also distributed for cre-
ative arts, cultural research, philosophy/politics, polit-
ical science, religion, public service and media.
Lovelace, who spoke on behalf of the recipients,
urged that the occasion be given a more important
"It is as witnesses to the dream of independence,
especially to generations to whom independence has
lost its lustre, who see nation as an outdated concept,
who, even when they are willing to conceive of inde-
pendence as a work in progress, have no idea what
we are progressing to.
"I believe we owe it to them and to our-
selves to establish and develop a conversation
that will inspire, and at least inform.
"And I hope that this ceremony today
marks the beginning of the conversation
which has been going on long before the
50 years among our writers and artists and
our intellectuals, and should I add politi-
cians," Lovelace said.
Reflecting on the country s early years,
he said T&T was "drawn into an experience"
which began with Europe s entry into the
new world which "destroyed and degraded
people in relationships highlighted by the
slaughter of Amerindians, African enslave-
ment, Indian indenture and rebellion and
resistance from the oppressed."
But the challenge was to take responsibility
for the past.
And that, Lovelace added, was acknowl-
edging Amerindian slaughter, African
enslavement, Indian indenture and by
responding with reparative measures marked
by justice, firmness and compassion.
He added: "We have been encouraged to
believe it is better we forget our past, that
letting it into our lives will lead to greater
polarisation of the society.
"We even encourage silence on these
matters, unless in well-managed innocuous
settings, excoriating those crazy enough to
bring these uncomfortable events up to our
consciousness. We must be aware that this
deliberate ignoring of something so close
to us establishes the moral and ethical foun-
dation of the society we construct.
"In any event, as we know now, the past
has not been forgotten. It lives in our hopes
for a better world, in resentment of those
disadvantaged by it, discomfort for those it
has privilege, in fear, in shame, in division
for us all."
Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt
Tewarie, who also spoke, said the greatest
challenge of leadership was how to tap the
spirit and energy of a people to build a better
future. Saying the awardees had inspired
themselves to think and to do and to create,
Tewarie added they had also inspired oth-
Lovelace at icon awards ceremony:
Return to dreams of independence
Dr Edwin Carrington, left, receives an award from head of the Public Service and
permanent secretary to the Prime Minister, Reynold Cooper, during the national icon
awards function at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann's, on Monday night. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Arthur NR Robinson
Dr Stephen Blizzard
Abdul Aziz Trust
Dr Edwin Carrington
Justice Phillip Louis Ulric Cross
National Council of Orisha Elders
Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha
Mahant Babu Boodoosingh
Beryl Mc Burnie
Sundarlal "Sundar Popo" Bahora
Lloyd Algernon Best
Tubal Uriah "Buzz" Butler
Cyril L R James
Adrian Cola Rienzi
Dr Eric Eustace Williams
Dr Rudranath Capildeo
Dr Sylvan Bowles
Dr Roy Neehall
Bishop Turnell Nelson
Archbishop Anthony Pantin
Haji Sheik Mohammed Shaffik Rahaman
Sir Ellis Clarke
Lord Learie Constantine
Sir Solomon Hochoy
Sir Hugh Wooding
Living icons/creative arts
David Michael Rudder
Jit Sukha Samaroo
Len "Boogsie" Sharpe
Harold La Borde
Brian Charles Lara
Dwight Yorke and the 2006 senior
national football team
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